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Thread: Frequently Asked Questions MEGATHREAD

  1. #1
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008

    Default Frequently Asked Questions MEGATHREAD

    Welcome to the FAQ Megathread (forever a work in progress):


    APFT - Army Physical Fitness Test
    cMVO2 - Cadence maximum VO2
    DD - Dragon Door
    Density - Getting more work done in less time. This usually translated to more weight being lifted per unit time, such as more pounds or kilograms per minute.
    EDT - Escalating Density Training
    ETK - Enter the Kettlebell, 2006 book/DVD update on Kettlebell training from Pavel
    GTG - Grease the Groove, or Greasing the Groove. See Question #1 on the fourth post
    GS Training - Girevoy Sport Training
    GVT - German Volume Training
    HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training
    HKC - Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification, made in the year 2009, a 1 day certification vs. 3 day RKC certification
    HS Training - Hard Style Training (the pre-dominant style on this forum)
    HTT - High Tension Techniques
    Intensity - The amount of weight lifted per repetition or speed per repetition of an exercise.
    Max VO2, or VO2 Max - VO2 max - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    MetCon - Metabolic Conditioning
    MP - Military Press
    NW - Naked Warrior, Bodyweight Strength Training Book/DVD by Pavel
    OAP/OAPU - One Arm Pullup/One Arm Push Up
    PM - Program Minimum, the prerequisite training regimen to the RoP described in ETK
    PR/PB - Personal Record/Personal Best
    PTP - Power to the People, a book/DVD on barbell training
    RIS - Relax into Stretch
    RKC - Russian Kettlebell Challenge, 2001 book/DVD, the first book that started it all
    RKC (more common) - Also stands for Russian Kettlebell Certification, a 3 day certification by Dragon Door.
    RoP (usually abbreviated in this form, also seen as ROP) - Rite of Passage, a training regimen described in ETK
    RoTK/RTK - Return of the Kettlebell, a book/DVD with an emphasis on double Kettlebell work.
    TGU - Turkish Get Up, outstanding full body exercise
    Volume - The amount of weight lifted in a session, or a day, or a week. Usually monitored to enhance performance and avoid over training.
    VWC - Viking Warrior Conditioning, phenomenal book by Kenneth Jay, Master RKC on Max VO2 training
    WTH Effect - "What the hell?" effect. Using Kettlebells tends to have a very good transfer to other exercises, and many users tend to see other lifts go up, even though they are not specifically training those lifts

    Epithets used on this forum:

    The Evil Russian - Pavel Tsatsouline, Master RKC, Master of Sports.

    The Dane of Pain - Kenneth Jay, Master RKC.

    The Party - All those loyal to The Evil Russian.

    Resources for either enhancing or refining a certain exercise:

    TGU - Kettlebells from the Ground Up, also known as Kalos Sthenos. You may also read this article posted on Dr. MC Schraefel's blog, begin to dig: The Refined Turkish Getup: Functional as well as Diagnostic

    Snatch - Viking Warrior Conditoning.

    With the MVO2 being the new 'rage' and torn callouses becoming a more frequent occurrence the following information may be useful.

    Rifs Blog: How to tape your hands.

    RKC Debriefing: Hand Care

    Kettlebells Los Angeles: The Hard Style Lock

    Which strength book or DVD should I get?

    If you "just want to be strong", get Power to the People! - Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American - Book. Comrades who have no access to weights need The Naked Warrior, Bodyweight Exercises for Greater Strength - Book. For a total package of killer strength, conditioning, and fat loss get Enter the Kettlebell! - Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen - Book (or From Russia with Tough Love: Pavel's Kettlebell Workout for a Femme Fatale for Comrade ladies).

    Which stretching book or DVD should I get?

    If extreme flexibility such as suspended splits is your goal, Relax into Stretch - Instant Flexibility Through Mastering Muscle Tension is for you. If your sport does not require that you tie yourself into pretzels and you want what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion Steve Maxwell called "a kind of mobility that allowed me... to move smoothly and comfortably from position to position, out of bad spots and into good ones", get Super Joints! - Regain the Bouyant Flexibility of a Child while Maximizing your Power and Strength - DVD.

    What is the best program?

    The program that you actually stick to. Train on a program, come back in 6-12 weeks, and then tell us your results. If you stagnate, then switch programs. There's no point in switching a program every single month, week, or day. And if you knew how to construct quality programs so quickly, you would not be asking this question.

    Kettlebell Basics Advice:

    Quick Swing Cheat Sheet for Newbies

    Stop beating yourself up: Clean tips

    What shoes should I wear while training with Kettlebells?

    Comrade, train with wrestling shoes, Vibram Five Fingers, or go barefoot. Any other shoe with very minimal padding will do as well. There is no preference for brand.

    I'm new to Kettlebells, the Program Minimum is boring, I want to move onto the RoP, can I do that?

    Watch this please: YouTube - Meltdown: Do your swings and get ups.

    During the Program Minimum I don't feel like I'm getting a good workout (getting smoked) by Turkish Get Ups, what's up with that?

    Comrade, the purpose of the Turkish Get Up is not to exhaust you. If you want to be exhausted, go swing for an hour and come back and let me know the results.

    Which is better, one handed or two handed swings?

    It is generally agreed upon that:

    One hand swing works your grip more, and your obliques more. You usually have a slower cadence because of this, however.

    Two handed swing works your glutes, hamstrings, and quads more. You can usually get a faster cadence because you have more muscles to power down the Kettlebell on the overspeed eccentric portion of the swing. The faster cadence results in more volume, and more intensity, which consequently taxes the glutes, hamstrings, and quads more than the one-handed swing.

    Which one is better? Yes, is the answer. Set goals, then use the correct exercise to achieve your goal.

    The point is to actually just do the swings.

    What's the deal with Kettlebells and the whole issue with "cardio"? Blog is from Dr. MC Schraefel.

    begin to dig: Cardio Workouts with Kettlebells vs VO2max KB workouts

    Want to increase your pull ups? Try the these different programs:


    Recon Ron Pullup Program

    Pull-up Strength - Red White & Blue Fitness

    Armstrong Pullup Program

    Pull Up Programming Beyond Your One Set*Max - Articles - Kettlebell and Strength Today
    Last edited by Ideal Paradigm; 02-25-2010 at 08:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008


    General Philosophy of the forum:

    Keep it simple. Keep in mind, I said simple, not easy.

    Traveling with a Kettlebell on an Airplane:

    There have been varied reports of people doing so. There have also been members on the forum in the past who were denied their request. Update (May 14, 2009): I asked a TSA supervisor today specifically, while I was at the airport. If you are flying in the United States, a Kettlebell is considered a bludgeon, and thus cannot be brought on the plane.

    As for flying with a Kettlebell in other countries, I cannot answer that, maybe someone in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America can comment on that.

    Can I change x in program y?

    By virtue of your asking the question, the answer is no.

    If you have questions about the military, or how to train while deployed, feel free to ask, there are many prior and currently active military members on the forum.

    Unfamiliar with the finer aspects of the forum?

    Tip: searching the forum - first steps for past expertise.

    reputation points - the new scale icon in posts

    At the top of the first post of every thread you may rate the thread from 1 to 5 stars (please rate this thread). Please vote carefully as well, once you vote, you cannot change your vote.

    There are also interesting tools at the top of the first post in every thread that you may be interested in utilizing. Take a gander.

    Viking Warrior Conditioning Questions:

    Need timers for the 15:15 MaxVO2 Protocol? 36:36 Timers also recently added as of July 19, 2009 Courtesy of kbSagoo

    VWC mVO2 MP3 Timers

    Is the Valsalva Maneuver necessary with the Max VO2 Protocol?

    Attn: Kenneth / RKCs - Valsalva and VO2

    Is it necessary to lockout the snatch during the Max VO2 Protocols?

    cMVO2 Questions... (Kenneth Jay?)

    Confused about what it means to be doing intervals at 60% time for Max VO2?

    Question about Kenneth's 36:36 MVO2 Protocol

    I'm on the BOOST protocol, but I'm confused as to how it's supposed to be laid out:

    Kenneth Jay, Question on MVO2 BOOST

    Should I switch hands on the LaT protocol?

    VWC - The LaT Protocol

    How should you cycle volume for VWC?

    Attn: Kenneth Jay or anyone with a Good Knowledge of VWC

    Can I use Swings instead of Snatches in the VWC format?

    Can I use sprinting in a VWC type format?

    VWC Protocols for sprinting?

    How long can I be off VWC without losing its effects?

    VWC Heart Hypertrophy Question

    Short Discussion and Questions about VWC and Kettlebell Snatching:

    Questions about Kenneth Jay's call on VO2 max

    Changing Interval Timing for Specificity?

    Different interval lengths for different training needs???

    Great Review of VWC:

    begin to dig: Review of Kenneth Jay's Viking Warrior Conditioning for Proper VO2max training

    ACE Study on Kettlebells as a Cardio Device (VWC used a core component):

    New ACE Study Proves Kettlebells King of Cardio, Fat Burning
    Last edited by Ideal Paradigm; 03-10-2011 at 05:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008


    Sport Enhancement and Career Fitness Help:

    Enhancing Sports Skills:

    Vertical Jump - How to Increase Your Vertical Jump with Olympic Lifting and Kettlebells: A Kettlebell Training article from Dragon Door Publications

    Speed Development - The Holy Grail in Speed Training: A Strength Training and Powerlifting article from Dragon Door Publications

    Rate of Force Development - Buy Viking Warrior Conditioning.

    Kettlebell Training for Careers?

    Firefighting: Firefighting and Kettlebells : A Great Combination: A Kettlebell Training article from Dragon Door Publications

    More Firefighting: Functional Firefighter Fitness: A Kettlebell Training article from Dragon Door Publications

    Interested in Joining a unit in USSOCOM?

    Here are some sample threads with questions, and outstanding answers:

    Before you choose to go this route, read this thread: Free Advice From An 18Xer

    CRO aspirant

    Interested in Grip Training? Where do you start?

    Notable people to ask are (forum names are as shown in italics): Adam T Glass, RKC and Zach Coulter.

    A few threads regarding a complete grip program, and different facets of grip training:

    Grip Fiends, I need some Advice on a complete grip program

    Ivanko Super Gripper vs. Captains of Crush Grippers?
    Last edited by Ideal Paradigm; 02-18-2010 at 06:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008


    RKC Certification Preparation, Videos by RKCs, and other forum Contributions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Pegasus
    1. What is GTG?

    Read Naked Warrior.

    "Grease the groove", a system of training for strength without burning out. The gist is to do a lot of sets of reps well short of your maximum throughout the day. For example, if you can do 8 pull-ups, throwing everything you have into them, your sets should be 3-5 reps throughout the day. Don't work to exhaustion. Don't even get close. Every so often take a whole day off, then test your new maximum. Works well with pull-ups and one-legged squats.

    2. What are ladders?

    Ladders are another method of training for strength without burn-out. You do a rep, take a short rest, do two reps, take a short rest, etc. until you reach a number well short of your maximum. Then you stop, take a longer rest, then start again at 1. For example, using 8 pull-ups as your maximum, you would do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 with short rests in-between, then a longer rest afterwards. Generally, the rest between rungs of the ladder should be about how long it would take a training partner to do the rung after you. The rest between ladders depends on your goals: very short for muscle-building and pump, very long for GTG-style practice. Works well with one-arm presses with a DB or KB, also with pull-ups.

    3. Who is Pavel Tsatsouline?

    Pavel is a physical trainer and consultant to various US agencies on strength, conditioning, and combat. He is a native of the Soviet Union and worked with Soviet special forces before the fall of communism. He emigrated to America, taking his knowledge of kettlebells and Russian/Soviet powerlifting training with him.

    4. What is Hardstyle?

    Hardstyle is a catch-all term for training with Dragon Door products. Very very generally, it boils down to reverse-engineering the techniques that the masters do unconsciously, then compiling and explaining those techniques in plain language. Such techniques include: compound movements, appropriate timing of body tension, power breathing, not training to failure or exhaustion, strength as practice, doing fewer things better, etc. Hardstyle is more than just kettlebell training.

    5. Why are kettlebells so expensive?

    They're solid chunks of iron, filed and polished so that you can grab them without tearing your skin. That takes work.

    6. Why kettlebells? Why not dumbbells?

    If you have dumbbells and like them, use them. There's nothing wrong with the DB clean and press or snatch or swing.
    If you're new to the forum, please utilize the articles. They're extremely valuable, and they may cover many questions that you have.

    Kettlebell Training Articles from Dragon Door Publications sorted by Author ascending

    Bodyweight Strength Training Articles from Dragon Door Publications sorted by Author ascending

    ^^ Those are what I believe are the most common article sections that are used.

    Phenomenal Article Summary of Pavel's Works:

    In addition to the articles already posted, here is a link to older versions of the HardStyle Magazine, they are also phenomenal resources.

    Old HardStyles hold a treasure trove of information, especially the 'Fast Tens' program in the Winter 2005 issue.

    Those can be found here at DD, or a Brad Nelson's site.

    Kinetic Edge Performance – Articles

    Do you believe that some of the articles on Dragon Door contradict each other?

    Could some one help me with these articles...

    If you are interested in what it takes to become an RKC, check this thread out by Dr. MC Schraefel:

    How to Prep for the RKC cert - the other stuff

    Encouragement to those who are overweight/obese using Kettlebells (check out the thread below):

    To the overweight/out of shape

    I have completed (1,2,3,4,5) x 5 Clean and Press with X Kettlebell but I...
    (A) cannot press the next size KB
    (B) cannot press the next size KB for 5 reps yet.

    The solution: Add more ladders and include overload presses on your second variety days.

    Having problems with some of the exercises? Here are some correctional videos.

    Pavel on Hand Care: YouTube - Pavel on Hand Care

    More Hand Care: YouTube - Kettlebell Hand Care

    Many correctional videos are listed here:

    YouTube - Pull Ups From The Floor

    Most of the videos listed above were provided as a courtesy by Jordan Vezina, RKC, 0311bravo is his alias on this forum.

    Three ways to make your press more powerful: Kettlebell Secrets Videos

    Armbar Press:

    Video from Gary Berenbroick: YouTube - RKC Kettlebell Arm Bar and Arm Bar Press

    Video from the Iron Tamer and Geoff Neupert: Iron Tamer and Geoff Neupert answer YOUR questions- T-spine mobility : Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp | Best Kettlebell Workout | Master RKC Certified | Nashville Olde Time Strongman David Whitley
    Last edited by Ideal Paradigm; 12-22-2011 at 11:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008


    Sample Routines and some Advice:

    Need a Sample Deadlift Routine? Here is one.

    Pavel Repost of DL singles Routine

    Looking for some Kettlebell Complexes?

    Idea or favorites for complexes

    Advice/Discussion on Density Training

    Density Training-Different Approach!

    How much should I rest between sets?

    Figuring out Rest Periods for Your Training Goals: A Strength Training and Powerlifting article from Dragon Door Publications

    What is the American Swing and should I do it? It's not Hard Style but see these two threads and decide for yourself.

    Crossfit Swings

    American Swing?

    Are you bored of a Hard Style routine because you love free-styling your exercises?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam T. Glass, RKC
    Right on David--Here is my musing as the Hard Style Strongman
    SSGGLASS (1941)
    Yesterday 7:42 pm
    While the words in my log book do not read like any program any of you have ever seen, it is 100% hard style

    Practicing, not working out
    Mastering Tension and building skill, not simply piling on more resistance
    Perfect movement and perfect patterns, not rep after rep going for the burn
    Mastery of the tiniest of details. Diving so far in to something that looks like an OCD
    Doing more with less; working for max horsepower from the engine i already have instead of trying to trade up a size.
    The hardstyle methods have allowed me to build incredible strength fast. I am continuing to get stronger every month-by sticking to the governing priciples. I no longer ask why does this work, i simply accept what works and what does not.

    If your program is boring, because you do the same thing over and over; than your on the path to real strength. Stop changing exercises every few weeks and look in to the most trivial of details with the ones you use.

    if anyone here thinks i can bend draft horse shoes because i change my routine weekly, you need a reality check. Consistant work brings consistant progress.

    Everyone who reads this-David NEVER said anything about what you can or can not ask. He is simply stating a truth-Learn the system, and the little moving parts are easy to understand.

    Hardstyle is every bit as detailed as any martial art i have ever seen. if you think this is about money or selling products your seriously mistaken.
    You can do what ever you want with your program. But if you want to be strong-pick two to five exercises and do them to the letter according to PTP, NW, ETK or PP. when it gets boring, than keep going. when it is so dull, add weight. When you think it couldnt get more routine, smile because your stronger now than you were last year.

    I respect every person who is on this forum working their butts off. Keep up the hard work, and remember this is all about training, not talking. This week there has been way too much talking about things that do not have any impact on anyone's progress.
    Overtraining Advice:

    Overtraining 101 - What You Need To Know - Muscle & Strength

    Are You Exercising Too Much? The Facts About Overtraining

    An easy way to tell if you're overtraining...

    How Do You Know If You're Overtraining?

    How to Tell if You’re Overtraining |

    Previous Threads on Overtraining:

    Thoughts on "Overtraining"

    Overtraining symptoms?


    Am I overtraining?

    Signs of Overtraining

    Overtraining? How much is to much?

    Observations on Injury, Overtraining, and the important/ insignificant aspects of tr
    Last edited by Ideal Paradigm; 09-07-2009 at 05:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008


    Fat Loss and Nutrition Information:

    What is the best fat loss program/tool?

    The best fat loss tool would be the Kettlebell if used correctly.

    A steady program of swings and/or snatches will help you lose fat. However, there will come to a point where you will have to alter your diet. There is a Nutrition Forum for that. You may also visit:

    If you would like to purchase an introduction to Nutrition Book, here is the ISBN #: 9780757528729. It is an introduction to nutrition book from one of my university classes. The professor, Dr. Applegate wrote this book, she is very accredited, and extremely knowledgeable. Get this book if you don't want to buy the 8+ different books from Precision Nutrition.

    Fat Loss Threads in the past:

    Fat Loss with Alwyn Cosgrove

    Free PDF from Precision Nutrition: Precision Nutrition Strategies For Success | Precision Nutrition

    How to Lose Weight |#1 Ways How to Lose Weight Blog

    From Dr. MC Schraefel:

    fat - the efficient fuel - just fyi

    respect the fat: why fat is so cool

    happy happy happy with our fat - sort of

    post workout recovery - is the clock ticking?

    Lean Eating: neural training first and mc's C1T sure fire diet

    recovery: what form of protein - bcaa, leucine, whey?
    Last edited by Ideal Paradigm; 09-07-2009 at 05:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008


    Want to build some homemade equipment? Here are some links:

    Power Cage using steel piping and wood:

    Homemade power rack made out of wood and pipe..

    Information about how to build a Power Cage:

    building a power cage? : Weights : Active Low-Carber Forums

    Assorted homemade equipment, including information about a Power Cage:

    Homemade Equipment Ideas | IronOnline Health and Fitness Database

    Pull up Bar that has a full wooden frame:

    my home made chin bar - - Free Body Weight Exercises for muscle gain, weight loss and more

    This site has multiple ideas for everything from pullup bars to dip stations, etc.:


    Some other pullup/chinup setups:

    Imageshack - 216.jpg • View topic - Homemade Pull-up Bar - Experiences

    (If you thought this FAQ was helpful, please rate the thread/give reputation, thanks!)

    Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by anyone, nor do I get paid to advertise for any of the products on this thread, etc. These are all products that have been rated highly and that actually work in both my experience, and the many knowledgeable members on this forum. If there is something you disagree with, research it and decide for yourself.

    Power to you!
    Last edited by Ideal Paradigm; 09-19-2009 at 10:38 AM.

  8. #8
    Josef is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Blog Entries


    Wow! Very impressive! I like how you reserved posts to insert amendments (if I'm interpretting you correctly). Thank you for taking the time for this.
    [COLOR=black][I]Are you a man, a dog, or a monster?[/I][/COLOR]

  9. #9
    Ideal Paradigm is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josef View Post
    Wow! Very impressive! I like how you reserved posts to insert amendments (if I'm interpretting you correctly). Thank you for taking the time for this.
    Yes, I reserved posts to add more, if the FAQ gets that large. I can always delete later if need be. I just had to make sure not to list things that are already listed in the FAQs of other books, like ETK.

    As for taking the time to do this, it's what happens when you're in college and you really don't want to go to sleep, haha.

    But really, I just thought it would be a great resource. Hopefully it gets stickied.

  10. #10
    Dermanus is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009


    Another one I see a lot of:
    "Can I change x in program y?"
    By virtue of your asking the question, the answer is no. It's early, so that's the best I can come up with.

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